President Donald Trump called at least two more GOP senators than the ones he has been publicly feuding with in an effort to iron out matters pertaining to Russia, Politico reported.
The president has been publicly critical of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and both of Arizona’s senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake. But Trump also called Tennessee Senator Bob Corker and North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis, the website reported. Those calls failed to persuade either senator.
In his call to Corker, who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee, Trump argued the bipartisan bill sanctioning Russia was not good policy, was unconstitutional and would damage his presidency, Politico said, citing three unnamed sources.
“Corker was unrelenting, these people said, and told Trump the bill was going to pass both houses with bipartisan support,” the website reported.
Trump “was clearly frustrated”, one person told Politico of the bill that ended up passing with a veto-proof majority. Trump signed it August 2. His call to Tillis on August 7 dealt with a bill the senator was working on with Democratic Delaware Senator Chris Coons that would protect independent counsel Robert Mueller from being fired by the president. Mueller is looking into possible links between Trump’s campaign and Russian officials.
A spokesman for Tillis confirmed the call to Politico, describing it as “cordial” and touching on various other issues as well. Moreover, a spokeswoman for Corker said his call was a “productive conversation about the congressional review portion of the Russia sanctions bill”. The White House said it will not discuss contents of calls.